Citing solidarity with the Cuban people, the United States voted against an annual United Nations resolution condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The resolution was adopted by the General Assembly, with 191 countries voting in favor; and two, the United States and Israel, voting against.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the Cuban regime uses the yearly UN debate on the U.S. embargo as “political theater,” a distraction “from the destruction it has inflicted on its own people and on others in the Western Hemisphere.”
Ambassador Haley said, “As long as the Cuban people continue to be deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms – as long as the proceeds from trade with Cuba go to prop up the dictatorial regime responsible for denying those rights – the United States does not fear isolation in this chamber or anywhere else. Our principles are not up for a vote.”
She pointed out that those principles are not only enshrined in the U.S. Constitution but also in the Charter of the United Nations.
In her remarks to the General Assembly, Ambassador Haley spoke directly to the Cuban people. She noted that many were hopeful after Cuba and the United States, under the previous administration, opened diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“What you probably don’t know,” she said, “is that your government responded to this gesture of good will, not by joining in the spirit in which it was offered, but by expanding its politically motivated detentions, harassment, and violence against those who advocate for political and economic freedom in Cuba.”
“Your government silences its critics,” Ambassador Haley declared. “It disrupts peaceful assemblies. It censors independent journalists and rigs the economy so the government alone profits.”
Ambassador Haley emphasized that the American people fully support the Cuban people’s dreams of living in a country where freedom of expression is respected and leaders are freely chosen.
“The United States opposes this resolution today in continued solidarity with the Cuban people and in the hope that they will one day be free to choose their own destiny,” said Ambassador Haley. “When the day of freedom comes for the Cuban people – and it will come – we will rejoice with them as only a free people can.”